As you all know, the holidays can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. Time off from work or school, indulging in your favorite foods and treats, spending time with your friends and family, and maybe even sneaking a kiss under the mistletoe with your significant other. What more could you ask for? All of that being said, there can also be a lot of stress that comes with the whirlwind of events surrounding the holiday season. From gift shopping to hectic holiday travel, it can all feel a little overwhelming, especially when you're ready to unwind and relax all December long.
With the new year upon us, think about taking the time to practice some serious #selfcare to prevent burnout during the new year. Don't be afraid to try something new to shake off the stress of the holiday season — here are some things that you can do to relax post-holiday season.
Set good boundaries
In order to set good boundaries, you need to first do a check-in with how you are feeling. Understand your needs and prepare accordingly. For many, the holidays mean more time spent with family members and friends. Depending on your social needs and personality type, you may or may not feel depleted after more time spent with your loved ones. Be aware if and when you need a break. Feel free to take some quiet time to replenish mentally, emotionally and physically. That might look like turning the ringer off of your phone for 30 minutes while you meditate, or unapologetically taking a brief moment to yourself to self-reflect and set positive intentions for the new year.
Give your body and mind a break
You’ve successfully set good boundaries, and you are basking in this extra time just for you. Now what? Enjoy the small things! Indulge in quiet time just for yourself. Go to the library and pick up a good book or two to snuggle up with. Take a nice bubble bath (with a bath bomb and essential oils if you’re feeling jazzy). Set aside guilt-free time to watch some of your favorite television shows. Engage in a good arts and crafts activity, such as painting or sewing, to get yourself feeling super relaxed. Whatever your favorite self-care activity may be, give yourself the patience to rest and rejuvenate from all of the extra demands on your body and mind that come with the holiday season.
Don't put unrealistic expectations or pressure on yourself or others
New Year’s Resolutions are a common tradition around this time of year. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Eat healthier foods. Cut back on alcohol. Spend less and save more money. Don’t get me wrong — it is absolutely wonderful to go into the new year setting precedence on your goals. However, try to be realistic with setting goals that can be healthily achieved within a practical time frame that works within your schedule. Instead of saying that you are going to cut donuts out of your life entirely (which would be cruel not only to yourself but also to the donuts), perhaps set a goal that incorporates maintaining a healthy diet and good nutrition while also enjoying the sheer joy that comes from a hot glazed donut!
Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine
Mindfulness is a term that you’ve probably heard used many times in discussions about mental health, psychology and therapy. It’s a process that allows and encourages individuals to take time to focus more on the present moment. Different types of mindfulness activities that you can do include meditation, Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), deep breathing, and mindful walking. Yoga and positive affirmations are also good practices that may increase one’s positive outlook on life and reduce worry and tension.
These self-care tips for the new year should help to relieve some of the pressure or stress you may be experiencing. Wishing you all a year filled with good health and happiness!
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